Kentucky Derby Horse Dies Before Gate Even Opens

For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lexington, Ky. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the death of Kentucky Derby contender Wild On Ice, who sustained a catastrophic injury today during training and was euthanized:

The 2023 Kentucky Derby has killed its first horse, even before the starting gate has opened. Kentucky officials must conduct a thorough investigation into Wild On Ice’s death and must scrutinize all medication and veterinary records for evidence of injury or soreness. The owner’s comment last week that Wild On Ice may not belong in the Derby raises doubt about what part the trainer, the veterinarian, and others may have played in a decision to push the colt beyond his capability. Horse deaths at what is considered the highest level of racing is a condemnation of all horse racing.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

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